Political culture in the UK: Mumsnet survey results

Earlier this year, Mumsnet asked 1,200 of its users for their views on the UK's political culture, what they'd like to see change and their thoughts on Prime Minister's Questions. The full survey results are below.

 

Thinking about PMQs, do you agree or not....
Answer Options Yes  No 
That they’re a good opportunity for your MP to raise your issues/concerns with the Prime Minister? 48% 45%
That they’re a good opportunity for MPs to hold the Prime Minister to account? 61% 33%
That MPs conduct themselves well and the process is effective? 13% 80%
That they’re not as effective as select committees (for example the Public Accounts Committee)? 52% 22%
That PMQs are a great tradition? 53% 40%
That the atmosphere of PMQs is unprofessional & outdated? 76% 18%
That PMQs damage parliament’s reputation? 50% 39%

 

The Hansard society recently published a report into PMQs, in which they recommended several reforms designed to improve them. Which (if any) would you like to see?
Answer Options Yes  No 
PMQs to be moved to the evening so more people can watch 56% 35%
The format should be varied: more discursive, genuine debates, rapid fire Q&As 84% 9%
More open questions 84% 7%
Fewer questions from the leader of opposition 55% 32%
Citizen engagement (eg through social media) 64% 28%
A sin-bin for badly-behaved MPs 59% 31%

 

There are currently three female full members of the cabinet (out of a total of 27). If there were more women in top political jobs, would you...
Answer Options Yes  No 
Think politicians had a greater understanding of your concerns? 63% 32%
Take more interest in politics? 39% 54%
Be more likely to consider getting involved in politics - locally or nationally - yourself? 27% 67%
Be more likely to vote for a party that had more women representatives? 49% 42%
Think legislation and government action would be more effective 56% 33%

 

Would you ever consider standing for parliament, or as a local councillor?
Answer options Response percent
Yes, without reservation 2%
Yes, but with reservations about how I’d be viewed/ treated 7%
Yes, but with reservations about the hours of work/ unfamily-friendliness 11%
Yes, I’d consider it 9%
No, I’m not thick-skinned enough 22%
No, it’s not for me/ not stated 47%
I already have/ am involved as an MP/ local councillor  2%

 

Net yes/already have 31%

 

From what you have seen or heard, do you think the political culture in Westminster is sexist?
Answer options Response percent
Yes 90%
No 6%

 

From what you have seen or heard, do you think the UK parliament is family-friendly?
Answer options Response percent
Yes 9%
No 85%

 

Do you think the party you support should include further measures in its manifesto to address the Westminster political culture, and increase the family-friendly nature of parliament?
Answer options Response percent
Yes 78%
No 12%

 

From what you have seen or heard, do you think promotion within the UK parliament or government is primarily based on...
Answer options Response percent
Talent and hard work? 4%
Willingness to toe the party line? 25%
Whom you know/ connections/ school/university attended? 66%
Something else?/ not stated 6%

 

Which of the following characteristics do you think are advantageous for people to be successful in politics? And which do
Answer Options Advantageous Not advantageous Neutral Don't know/NA
Ruthlessness 86% 5% 7% 0%
Cleverness 63% 16% 19% 3%
Social connections 92% 3% 4% 2%
Sense of humour 42% 20% 34% 4%
In-depth understanding of the lives of 'ordinary' people 35% 34% 29% 3%
Integrity 30% 42% 25% 3%
Capacity for hard work 67% 12% 19% 3%
Strong beliefs 54% 23% 20% 3%
Coming from the majority (white) ethnic group 61% 11% 25% 4%
Being able-bodied 62% 11% 23% 4%
Being male 78% 7% 13% 3%
Being relatively well-off (above average earnings) 84% 5% 8% 3%
Having no caring responsibilities, for dependent children or other adults 74% 11% 13% 3%
Ambitiousness 94% 2% 3% 2%

 

Which of the following comes closest to summing up your feelings about politicians and politics in the UK these days?
Answer options Response percent
I'm fed up with the whole system 11%
I'm disillusioned and believe that the political process is irrelevant to lots of people in Britain 35%
I'm engaged with democratic politics and believe that it's the best way to make positive changes 9%
I'm resigned - I don't have a lot of faith in the political process, but what other way is there? 37%
I'm optimistic - I believe that politicians and British politics are improving 4%
I'm happy - I think politics is effective and serves the British people well 1%
None of the above/ not stated 4%

 

Do you think the British political system, as represented by local councils, devolved administrations (Scottish & Welsh Assemblies) and the Westminster government, is effective at achieving constructive changes that improve the quality of life for most British people?
Answer options Response percent
Absolutely, yes 1%
Yes, but with reservations 34%
Neither yes nor no/ not stated 19%
Not really 35%
Absolutely not 12%

 

 

Last updated: 21-Jun-2014 at 9:38 PM